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Oh, Hello Retrospective: 2008 Signing Class

Let's rewind to the days of VCR's and two-way pagers, and look back at the PSU 2008 signing class.

Jamie Sabau

Remember February 2008? What a different world we lived in. QB14 had finished his reign of terror with a 24-17 victory over Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl, paving the way for DC17 fist pumps. Joe Paterno made his last recruiting visit ever, wasting it on Terrelle Pryor. And almost no one had ever heard of Gary Schultz - certainly not enough to confuse him with 'the cops.' Black Shoe Diaries was there to catalog all of it, including the 14-recruit haul from that year's National Signing Day.

POS Natl Rank Stars Name School Hometown
WLB 4 4 Mike Yancich (Trinity SHS) Washington, PA
MLB 5 4 Michael Zordich (Cardinal Mooney HS) Youngstown, OH
OG 8 4 Matt Stankiewitch (Blue Mountain HS) Schuylkill Haven, PA
MLB 9 4 Michael Mauti (Mandeville HS) Mandeville, LA
TE 13 4 Mark Wedderburn (Cardinal O'Hara HS) Springfield, PA
DE 15 4 Jack Crawford (St. Augustine Prep) Richland, NJ
S 15 4 D'Anton Lynn (Celina HS) Celina, TX
OT 24 4 DeOn'tae Pannell (Wylie E. Groves HS) Beverly Hills, MI
RB 32 4 Brandon Beachum (Cardinal Mooney HS) Youngstown, OH
DT 61 3 Pete Massaro (Marple Newtown SHS) Newtown Square, PA
WR 149 3 A.J. Price (South Lakes HS) Reston, VA
DT 101 2 James Terry (Brandywine HS) Wilmington, DE
DT 112 2 Brandon Ware (Harrisburg HS) Harrisburg, PA
OT 152 2 Mike Farrell (Shady Side Academy Senior School) Pittsburgh, PA

Back Then

BSD Mike had you covered with a full analysis of the signing day gets - and misses. RB Michael Shaw's flip to Michigan caused some consternation. And eventually, Terrelle Pryor's commitment to Ohio State would spawn an entire series of Pentimental photoshops.

But while the three linebackers looked good to everyone, some others were upset at the class - particularly the head coach, who rarely left State College.

"If I'm Joe Paterno I need to get my butt on a plane and go visit these kids. We just plain got out hustled this year. In the past two years Joe has visited one recruit in house. One. That isn't going to cut it. Not when Weis, Tressel, Rodriguez, and Wannstedt are regular fixtures at these kids' schools. When the head coach makes a special trip to come to your house to meet you that says something. Our coach refuses to leave State College. Some days he doesn't even come into the office."

Why pull that quote? Because it's funny. Nearly four years after it was written that 'some days he doesn't even come into the office', Joe Paterno would be tabbed as the mastermind architect of a massive pedophilia cover up, and the most powerful man in the entire state of Pennsylvania. So there's that. Plus Charlie Weis, Jim Tressel, Rich Rodriguez, and Dave Wannstedt would all be fired before Joe. Which is nice.

Three Years Ago

BSD reviewed the 2008 class in April 2010, illustrating our need for continual analysis, and post-Spring game article topics. Back off, man. April and May are tough months to be football bloggers.


Eleven of the 14 recruits leave Happy Valley with a Penn State degree. The exceptions? AJ Price never caught a pass at Penn State, and transferred to Akron in 2010. Brandon Ware and his weight, seemingly the subject of every Paterno press conference between 2009 and 2011, transferred to Eastern Arizona Junior College. Last, PSU legacy Mark Wedderburn was told to Step Up by BSD in 2010, and promptly transferred to Kutztown. Gilliam blew out a knee and Szczerba ruined a couple discs, but they at least stayed on the team. The Step Up series really took its toll on the TE depth chart.

Mike Farrell became a 3-time Academic All Big Ten selection. Pete Massaro gutted out a senior season without the benefit of any knee tendons or cartilage. Brandon Beachum was our best back at pass pro before hanging up his cleats. Matt Stankiewitch finished as First Team All Big Ten, and should have won the Remington trophy. And Michael Mauti rekindled the BSDiva player stalking syndrome.

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